Sunday, November 30, 2014

Schizoaffective Disorder, Part 2

 

 This is part 2 of a series. If you would like to read part 1, you can do so by going to

 http://sbloemreflections.blogspot.com/2014/11/schizoaffective-disorder-part-1.html

 

Suicidal thoughts or behavior

 

 Expression of suicidal thoughts or behavior may occur in someone with schizo-affective disorder. If you have a loved one who is in danger of committing suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.


 Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of developing schizo-affective disorder include having a close biological (blood) relative who has:
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizo-affective disorder

    Complications

    People with schizo-affective disorder are at an increased risk of:
  • Social isolation
  • Unemployment
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Developing alcohol or other substance abuse problems
  • Significant health problems
  • Suicide 
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    What you can do?

     

    To prepare for the appointment:
  • Make a list of any symptoms your loved one is experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment.
  • Bring key personal information and include any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of medications, vitamins, herbal preparations and any other supplements that he or she is taking and the dosages.
  • Go with your loved one to the appointment so that you know what you're facing and what you can do to help.
  • Make a list of questions to ask the doctor to help you make the most of your time.

For schizoaffective disorder, some basic questions to ask include:

  • What is likely causing the symptoms or condition?
  • Are there any other possible causes?
  • How will you determine the diagnosis?
  • Is this condition likely temporary or long term (chronic)?
  • What treatments do you recommend for this condition?
  • What are the side effects of medications commonly used for this condition?
  • If the treatment approach isn't effective, what will you recommend next?
  • What kinds of counseling might help?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask questions anytime you don't understand something.

  • When did your loved one start experiencing symptoms?
  • Have symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Has your loved one talked about suicide?
  • How is your loved one functioning in daily life — is he or she eating regularly, bathing regularly, going to work or school?
  • Have other family members or friends expressed concern about your loved one's behavior?
  • Have any of your loved one's close relatives been diagnosed or treated for mental illness?
  •  

    What to expect from your doctor

    Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to focus on. Your doctor may ask:
  • When did your loved one start experiencing symptoms?
  • Have symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Has your loved one talked about suicide?
  • How is your loved one functioning in daily life — is he or she eating regularly, bathing regularly, going to work or school?
  • Have other family members or friends expressed concern about your loved one's behavior?
  • Have any of your loved one's close relatives been diagnosed or treated for mental illness?